August 04, 2011
I've never been to Canton or Cooperstown. In 2008, I went to Springfield for the first time when my old boss Dick Vitale was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. When you play these games - football, baseball, and basketball; Canton, Cooperstown, and Springfield mean something.
In June, I received an invitation from Marshall Faulk to join family and friends for his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now, I can add Canton to the list.
I came to San Diego in 1980 to coach basketball at San Diego State. I left the sideline in 1987 and started the San Diego Regional Police Athletic League. Al Luginbill was the assistant AD before being promoted to head football coach at SDSU. He approached me about an idea called “Fill the Murph” where they would sell season tickets to Aztec games and they would donate them to our TAKE FIVE Tickets for Kids Program. The first year, I received 4,500 season tickets to distribute to kids and families in San Diego Counties most critical community.
While sitting in the nose bleed section, the first game we attended was SDSU vs. Pacific when Marshall set the NCAA rushing record.
Needless to say, we did not receive the same number of tickets during his sophomore season. The businesses who were buying the seats were now keeping them to watch Marvelous Marshall!
Fast forward to 2009 when the Marshall Faulk Foundation relocated to San Diego. I get a call wanting to know if we would want to be a beneficiary of his philanthropy. On his first visit to our Y, I learned he was a Y kid growing up in New Orleans. Visit http://www.jackierobinson.ymca.org/about-us/alliance-partners/marshall-faulk.html to see how Marshall has supported the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.
Ironically, Jackie Robinson wore #28 during his football days!
I’ve been blessed to work for Hall of Famer Dick Vitale, coach Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, and work with Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane lived across the street from me in Detroit and was a mentor throughout his life and helped me bring the Police Athletic League to San Diego.
Simply put, Marshall Faulk is a Hall of Famer in the biggest game of all – the game of life. I am excited to watch him 'Making Moves' into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.